Rochester Historical Society Feb 8th-David Miller Presentation- Native Americans Along the Piscataqua River Watershed

Who were the Native Peoples that lived in the Piscataqua River Watershed in Pre-contact Times- before 1600? Can We Put them back on the Map?

On Thursday, February 8, at 7 PM at the Rochester Historical Society Museum on Hanson Street, David Miller will present Native Americans along the River.

A number of years ago in conversation a local fellow told Mr. Miller that during the great hurricane of 1938, when the pine trees were blown over in the Hansen Pines Forest Park in Rochester, there was found at the base of a large pine a large dump of shells left by the native people. This led him to thinking who were these people? What do we know about this site?

When Mr. Miller went looking for an accurate detailed study of the Indians who lived in this area he found none existed. He took it upon himself to try to rectify this gap in the historic record.

In his research on the native peoples in this area of New Hampshire, he discovered there has not been any detailed written analysis done to date. The area he referring to is the Piscataqua River watershed. This geographic area had all the elements necessary for comfortable survival and prolonged life for the native peoples who lived here before contact with Europeans starting in the late 1400s and early 1500s.(The Basque were secretly fishing here for about 200 years before Columbus appeared on the scene)

When one reviews the literature on the native peoples of New England over the last hundred plus years we find on the various maps each to be different from the others as to a label being applied to the native people in the Piscataqua River watershed. The name most frequently applied for this subgroup was the Pennacook tribe. Does the research prove or disprove this label?

The outcome of Mr. Miller’s research will be shared with you. He has prepared a detailed map of where the native villages were located and the Indian names for each village and the Indian names for surrounding physical features including the rivers, lakes and mountains.

At the same time he will discuss an ongoing project taking place at the University of New Hampshire that he has been a part of to develop an internet interactive STORY MAP entitled “Indigenous Cultural Heritage in New Hampshire”

Accompany his oral presentation will be a PowerPoint slide show and hand out of his research.

The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will follow the meeting. For more information please call (603) 330-3099 or e-mail

Thank you, Martha Fowler, President Rochester Historical Society


No comments